The Living End gave it their all to an intimate crowd at the Surfside 7, Fort Collins August 8 2017. I didn’t think I would ever get to see them outside Australia so it was a dream come true for me to photograph them playing all my favorite songs as well cuts from their current album SHIFT.
The Lillingtons were joined by I am the Owl and Joy Subtraction at Surfside 7 in Fort Collins on August 22, 2018. Proof the show was fantastic is that my shots of The Lillingtons are super crappy. Enjoy.
The party doesn’t have to end at 10 p.m. when Riot Fest’s headliners, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Jawbreaker, wrap up their respective Friday/Saturday/Sunday sets. Organizers behind Riot Fest 2017 (September 15-17 in Chicago’s Douglas Park) have just released the full Late Night concert schedule, which finds a slew of bands in small clubs throughout Chicago.
Kicking things off on Thursday, September 14th—before the festival is in full-swing—will be Chicago’s acclaimed punks, The Orwells, entertaining a packed House of Vans at this free-with-RSVP show, as well as a pit stop at Cobra Lounge from Riot Fest alumni The Queers and The Ataris. Throughout the rest of the festival weekend, highlights include several hugely influential bands: GBH, Buzzcocks and Hot Water Music will also squeeze into the 300-capacity Cobra Lounge; New Found Glory, Bayside and Gogol Bordello will play Concord Music Hall, and Bottom Lounge will become an indie rock lover’s paradise with Cap’n Jazz on Friday night, and a special Saturday night co-headline show with Dinosaur Jr. and Built to Spill. Then, Taking Back Sunday will do just that as this perennial Riot Fest band wraps things up on Sunday night, after Jawbreaker and Paramore have closed down the festival.
Additionally, 10 artists have been confirmed to perform their seminal albums in full at Riot Fest 2017: Wu-Tang Clan, Danzig, Dinosaur Jr., The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Built to Spill, Fishbone, Bayside, Mayday Parade, The Lawrence Arms, and that dog.
The festival will once again feature a full-scale carnival with rides, games of chance, and of course, the Hellzapoppin’ Sideshow Revue freak show, which will see a much extended footprint from prior years. To satisfy the refined palates of Riot patrons, there will be over 40 unique and diverse food and beverage vendors from which to choose.
OFFICIAL RIOT FEST LATE NIGHT SCHEDULE:
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th
THE QUEERS & THE ATARIS
Doors at 7:00pm, Show at 8:00pm • 17+
Tickets are $16 advance, $18 day-of-show
DFMK with The Black Dots and Redbush rocked the Surfside 7, Fort Collins this past Wednesday August 9.
I saw DFMK for the first time at FEST 15, just last year. They played the now defunct New World Brewery at Pre-Fest and again first thing Sunday of FEST. Their wild sound, stage energy and el Cap spit shining his hair just did it for me, they became the band I talked about most when anyone asked me who my newly discovered favorite was. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was to learn that they were on tour to Colorado this month and my good buddies here in Laramie, Redbush, had been asked to open the show along with The Black Dots. It was a great night, the sound was superb for all the bands and I was glad to see lots of smiling faces leave DFMK‘s merch table with arms loaded.
Typically I shy away from using the word “pure” when I’m talking about punk bands. The elitism that it implies leaves a nasty, stinking tang in my mouth. But in trying to find a way to describe The Scants, it’s the single word that keeps popping back into my head. So I’ll say it here and then never again or at least so long as I can help it… The Scants are so pure! From the reason and way they formed, to the way they release and promote their music and shows, it’s just so real. So organic. As a teenager, Darren Graham was devoted to the Grand Rapids, MI punk scene by playing in bands and relentlessly supporting other ones. After a ten year hiatus from playing live, in fall 2016 that itch crawled back up from deep under his skin. Darren grabbed his guitar and teamed up with Colin Blessingame (bass) and Garrett Esper (drums) to complete the seminal Scants lineup. The intention wasn’t to make money, not to break grounds, but to scratch something that, for them, can only be done in a live setting. Behind their April 2017 self-titled debut EP, they’ve begun to conquer the midwest with their old-school approach to punk-rock.
The EP opens with a song narrated by a weekend warrior named “Dave.” Dave hates his day job so he tells off his co-workers (“I don’t really give a shit!”), then come Monday, weepingly apologizes to his boss because in his own self-deprecatory words, he’s “a little chicken shit.” Then comes “First World,” the first single and first in a string of political songs on this project. It alludes to a number of, you guessed it, first world problems and wanting to destroy the TV and country. “Drumpf” is a protest song dedicated to 45. It starts with the thickest bass line you’ll hear all year, followed by a smattering of feedback. On it, The Scants call out The Don’s hate speech and bigotry and paint him as a clown with little hands, not to be feared, but someone “we’re gonna tear down.” Track 4 is “South China Sea,” which boasts a killer breakdown with what sound like marching drums that go perfectly with lyrics predicting impending war and eventual doom due to the population’s apathy.
The second half of the EP begins with “Fully Loaded,” a story about a girl that won’t stop for anything to get what she wants and the inner conflict of the guy she’s with. He loves and hates her at the same time. “Right Brigade” is a brilliant cover of the classic song by Bad Brains from their debut album, The Yellow Tape released in 1982. These guys especially do this one justice live. Track 7, “Mad,” is a short instrumental that acts as an intro to what is probably the band’s best work, “Struggle.” It’s simply a perfect closer. It’s pummeling drums make it simultaneously the most danceable and mosh-able song in this collection.
Eight songs and fifteen minutes of recorded music is all it took for The Scants to do what they set out to do with this project. With self-printed and hand-cut hard copies in toe and hearts full of attitude, they’ve begun to make their mark on stages across the upper Midwest. Honestly, it’s not the most original sound in the world, but every song is fun and as catchy as they come. For as young as the band members are, the music sounds old, but I mean that in a good way. They fit right in with the heroes they modeled that sound after. Bands like Bad Brains and OFF! should be honored by the way these guys have crafted their art. Audio guru/engineer, Don Carlisle really gave this thing life at Knavish Audio in Grand Rapids, MI. His expertise is all over the album in it’s intentionally raw, dirty feel. Catch their visceral live show with new bass player Blake Bouwman also of Crash, Stubborn Strays, Discycle, and No More! Records. They’re probably, almost definitely playing at their homebase, The Workshop sometime soon. While you’re at it, pick up their debut EP. It’s totally pure… dang it, I said it again!
The Scants EP was independently released April 9, 2017
Tracks 1-5, 7 written by The Scants
Track 6 written by Bad Brains
All songs performed by The Scants
All songs recorded at Knavish Audio in Grand Rapids, MI
Engineered and mastered by Don Carlisle
Sometimes the line up on a show seems to be too well engineered to be real. Sunday July 23 in Denver, at 3 Kings Tavern, was one of these line up situations. Worriers, while on a summer tour, made their way through our city, with Camp Cope, who are in the United States for the first time, and Typesetter. Our very own local band, Black Dots, opened up the evening, solidifying the epicness of the show.
I’ve made no secret about my love of Black Dots, and I am always thrilled to see them play a show. They’re all such great musicians and great people, and I love getting to see them play. They genuinely get better every time I see them, and I’m really excited that they’re going to be at The FEST this year.
Typesetter played next, and it was such a different environment than the last time when they opened for Against Me!, I found myself really able to enjoy the band even more than I had before. I loved the energy they all have together as well as their stage presence.
Next up was Camp Cope, from Australia. I’d been most looking forward to seeing them play because I’m a huge fan of the singer’s voice and their lyrics. I honestly had goosebumps the entire time they played; I couldn’t believe the music was as beautiful live as it s recorded! Absolutely stunning set, and so thrilled we were a stop on their short U.S. tour!
Finally, Worriers took the stage. It’s been a little while since they’d been through Denver, and since they’ve finished recording a new album, I was definitely excited to see them. They played a great set, and I can’t wait for the new record to come out on Side One Dummy.
If you have a chance to catch any leg of this tour, I highly recommend it, even if not all of the bands remain on. You’re sure to have a great experience seeing any of these bands; for me, it was the exact show I needed after a rough week!
For the last 3 years, I’ve made the trip from Denver to Minneapolis, MN for the event known as D4th of July. The first year was a giant, 2-day blow out with amazing bands (and also the reason I no longer drink whisky). The second year, I drove to Minneapolis, and had an amazing weekend with all of the friends I’d made the year before. This year, I made the event the tail part of a 3,500 mile road trip, and although there were a lot of people missing from it this year, it was still an amazing time. Every year, it’s a wonderful experience, and I’m never lacking a reason to come back.
This year’s bill boasted 8 bands in one night. Opening up was Murf, who I unfortunately only caught the last two songs of because I was eating next door (side note: eat at the Triple Rock, their food rules). EDGEXBREAK was up second, and the crowd was really excited. I think I may have enjoyed it more if I knew the people, or ever went through a straight-edge hardcore phase, since their set was a straight-edge hardcore cover set.
Third was Royal Brat, who I loved. The whole vibe and style of the band was fantastic. Following them was Color TV, who were also most excellent.
Neighborhood Brats took the fifth slot, and were my favorite act of the night. The singer’s energy and stage presence was superb. Make sure you see them when you have the chance, because they’re absolutely worth checking out.
Vacation played next, and the crowd really started filling in. Tons of people starting singing along, and the wondrous feel of D4th of July was beginning to spread! By the time The Dopamines went on, the party was in full swing. Beers began to fly, humans began to fly (and fall), and good times were had by all. The Dopamines played an exceptional set, and got everyone ready for the titular headliner.
Dillinger Four came out and played a relatively short set. Unfortunately, Paddy was suffering from a painful affliction, which may have lead to them not playing late into the night. However, it was still wonderfully D4, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
If you’ve never had the experience of a D4th of July, I hope that you find your way to one before they someday end. It’s a truly magical experience, and keeps me coming back year after year!
I am in a quandry with this review. I’m torn between being speechless and word vomiting superlatives at a blistering pace. I guess you could say I’m smitten with Hannah, the young heroine of No Solidarity‘s epic tale of disillusionment in modern times.
The Over Everythings are a melodic skate punk band out of the UK, and with this album they are about to jump right onto a lot of peoples’ musical radar. The first thing you are going to notice is the musicianship. These guys are the epitome of smart skate punk. The guitars shred. The rhythm section is thundering. Together they are an inescapable ear catching force. If there were no lyrics at all, you could throw this album on as a straight up instrumental skate/work out/biking soundtrack and be perfectly happy. But these guys went far further….
No Solidarity is the story of Hannah, a young woman searching for the best in this life and finds the modern world lacking. The story is matched perfectly with the music. I find myself listening repeatedly and finding something new each time. The emotional content and delivery have me stumped as to recommending any one track as my favorite. I’m just going to say that if you enjoy intelligent lyrics, and talented musicianship that you should get on this one right away. It’s something you are going to be listening to for years to come, and still will be finding new things to enjoy about it.
No Solidarity comes out July 14th on Scylla Records. Click the link below to grab an album that, in my opinion, will be on most reviewers and critics top 10 lists at the end of the year.
Modern Trigger – “Forgiveness is Divine…..But Never Pay Full Price for Late Pizza”
New York is known for a lot of things, pizza and punk rock are definitely touted among the better ones. That said, get yourself ready for what NYC band Modern Trigger are serving up next, because it is a hot one!
Modern Trigger hold a special place in my musical heart. Folk punk is a sub-genre that owes much to the early 90s lo-fi movement, a group of bands who stripped down their sound and reinvented themselves. I found so much joy in those albums at the time, so I was overjoyed when I gave Forgiveness a listen and instant nostalgia washed over me.
All 3 tracks deliver the goods. Concrete Life is a banger right out of the gate. “noise erupted through, a sad excuse of the digital age, and I’m the only one that’s left to blame”. NA is an appropriately slower and more melancholy middle “so i stopped making lists of things, I thought that I knew better than, everyone that got me outa there”.
The third and closing track Time leaves you only wishing for more. Exactly what an EP should do, making you want to dig and find more from the band. All of my nostalgia aside this is clearly a glimpse into the future for this young band. There are great things to come, and not a second too late.
Forgiveness is Divine….. was self released on July 1, 2017. You should click the link and buy it, because you like good things, and this is a very good thing indeed.